STANCE COULD LEAD TO DISTANCE LEARNING FOR ALL OF FALL
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to delay “in person” education until the pediatric positivity rate drops to a range of 3 to 5 percent.
The pediatric positivity rate is currently hovering around 15 percent in Palm Beach County. A drop to 3-5 percent could take months.
“Public health experts and infectious disease physicians almost universally recommend that children not to go schools until the positive test rate is 3-5% over a rolling two week average,” wrote D. Paul Robinson MD, President of the Florida AAP. “If children go to school with such high infection rates, schools will be forced to close very quickly after opening, and many children and families will likely become ill with SARS-CoV-2. in other parts of the world where schools have successfully opened the infection rates from SARS-CoV-2 were much lower than here in Florida.”
The letter calls on DeSantis to ensure that local school districts are permitted to make their own decision with no intervention from the state.
“There are current studies that show children do not become ill with SARS-CoV-2, and they do not spread it as efficiently as adults do,” wrote Robinson. “However, the fact that children, as a group, do not become as ill as adults does not mean every child with COVID does not become ill. There is great concern about children with special healthcare needs (asthma, obesity, diabetes, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis to name a few) infected with SARS-CoV-2, as there is in adolescents who smoke or vape. Further, as you undoubtedly know, some children have died of a rare multi-system inflammatory condition. In addition, lower spread rates to adults does not mean no spread rate to adults, and it is already clear that adults have the potential to become very ill or die at a higher rate when infected.”
The Palm Beach County School Board is set to vote Wednesday evening (July 22, 2020) on delaying the start of school until August 31st. The School District is already set to use “distance learning” until at least Palm Beach County moves to Phase Two of the Florida reopening plan. The FCAAP stance could delay a return to “in person” education until well after phase two is reached.
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